Amazon Ramps Up Its Whole Foods, Mobile Payments-Related Connections

January 3, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods in 2019 represented a major move for the company, as well as a move that left more than a few scratching their heads. What in the world does Amazon have to do with groceries? Others of us got to speculating about what Amazon could do with a network of physical storefronts at its control and found some substantial possibilities. Those possibilities seem to be coming to pass, meanwhile, as new plans for Amazon’s delivery service have emerged.

Basically, the plan is simple: expansion. Given that Amazon dropped $13.5 billion to pick up Whole Foods, it was a clear part of a larger plan, and that larger plan looks to be bearing fruit. Thanks to the physical Whole Foods network, Amazon controls territory sufficient to put 60 cities in its two-hour delivery window, and reports suggest Amazon wants to step that up to include all 475 locations.

This isn’t Amazon being an innovator, oddly enough; rather, this is Amazon trying desperately to keep pace with the competition. We’ve seen delivery operations crop up in a variety of places, from major competitors like Target and Walmart to dedicated grocery outlets like Kroger and Meijer. For Amazon not to step up its delivery game would be to effectively concede an entire potential market, and that’s something Amazon wouldn’t do readily.

Amazon is practically built on delivery. Just ask the thousands of postal carriers carrying Amazon boxes and bags around on their daily routes. This, however, is somewhat different; we’re talking about a rapid food delivery concept that has yet to be seen from the company, and one that could change the game as we know it. With other firms stepping in on delivery, Amazon has to keep pace or improve on the concept if it can. With the FAA still dragging its collective heels on allowing delivery drones—which Amazon already has by some reports but is legally barred from using—Amazon can only go so far.

Delivery is likely to be just a fact of life going forward, as we all look for our purchases to arrive by various outlets. A day may come, in fact, when we no longer have to leave the house for anything but work, and that could be the strangest day of all.